Past Winners » Kingston Hill


There is a good angle into the Racing Post Trophy, because there is every chance that favourite Toormore will struggle on the likely soft ground.

There is no question that Toormore is a highly-talented individual, but he started off over six furlongs, and both his races since his debut have been over seven. He is by speed influence Arakan and his pedigree is full of sprinters and milers. He is a Guineas horse for next year, not a Derby horse, and the Racing Post Trophy is generally a race for Derby horses.

There is a big chance that a straight mile on testing ground will stretch his stamina beyond its limit, and there are enough front-runners (Somewhat) and potential front-runners (four Ballydoyle entries at present) in the line-up to ensure that it will be a true test. There is even a chance that Toormore will not run if it gets too testing, and they are currently calling it good to soft, with no chance of it getting any faster than that and with more rain forecast. Put that with the fact that, remarkably, Richard Hannon has never won the Racing Post Trophy, and it is very easy to take the favourite on.

Kingston Hill is the horse that I think is most over-priced at 7/2. Impressive winner of his maiden on his racecourse debut over seven furlongs on soft ground at Newbury just last month, despite running green, he improved markedly on that run to win the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket two weeks ago, the race that this year’s Irish Derby winner Trading Leather won last year.

He didn’t have the run of the race at Newmarket. He was settled out the back in the early stages in a race in which favourite Oklahoma City had it all to himself up front and against the favoured stands rail. He made his ground bravely through horses, and he powered away once in the clear to win by two lengths.

It is significant that he has been supplemented to the race on two fronts. Firstly, his trainer Roger Varian is an astute judge, who isn’t inclined to allow his horses be supplemented unless he believes that they have a real chance of winning. Secondly, the man putting up the supplementary entry fee is owner Paul Smith, son of Coolmore/Ballydoyle owner Derrick Smith.

He will handle the ground, we know that he stays the distance and, by Mastercraftsman out of a Rainbow Quest mare, he should relish a test of stamina. He may not need to improve an awful lot on his Autumn Stakes run to see him go very close on Saturday.